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WillK 12-11-2011 08:58 PM

Please advise on slow flushing toilet?
 
So our toilet has been tending to run slowly the past few days, and I can think of 2 possibilities. It's hard to know which one the problem is because I can't find my toilet snake, and my 6 year old boy is hard to get a straight answer. It could be that he flushed a dixie cup in the toilet. Otherwise, the only possibility I can think of is that maybe I'm getting a layer of ice buildup in my pipes?

At any rate, the toilet doesn't flush with the usual gurgle noise or whatever you call it. It can be made to do it with enough plunging, but the next time it's still slow. It is clearly not completely clogged, it goes down slowly and even will suck down solids. I've tried shoving electrical wire fish tape through, but it won't make the turns through the toilet trap and it doesn't make any difference.

If it's going to come down to buying another snake or pulling the toilet and putting in a new wax seal, I'd like to know if it's consistent with a dixie cup or otherwise... I'd guess if it was something other than a dixie cup, I ought to be looking at cleaning things out at the cleanouts in the pipes instead.

I'm not suspecting anything collapsed, our pipe out to the city sewer is new from this summer. Haven't seen any issues with anything else draining, we only have one other toilet and I've only used it once recently and it worked okay the one time.

Additional notes:

Toilet in question is on the first floor. House is on a conditioned dirt floor crawl space. The main stack is cast iron and about 5' or so from the toilet, there is 3" pvc from the toilet to the stack. The other toilet is directly above this one in a watercloset. Both toilets go back before low-flow toilets. And this toilet was flushing fine up until a few days ago.

ben's plumbing 12-11-2011 09:08 PM

my guess something is in commode...you need a closet auger to go around trap....you could try plunging like crazy....after cup set in water for awhile it get soft...

ben's plumbing 12-11-2011 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ben's plumbing (Post 791670)
my guess something is in commode...you need a closet auger to go around trap....you could try plunging like crazy....after cup set in water for awhile it get soft...

remember there only one way the right way

30 yr PLUMBER 03-10-2012 08:40 AM

Take the toilet up from the floor and turn it ovr use a flash light and a cosmetic mirrow to see if there is anything in the trap. This can be on going you need use the process of ilimition to take away the guess factorif plunging and the auger does not work pull it. You may be at the beging of a main sewer stoppage Good LUCK!
Quote:

Originally Posted by ben's plumbing (Post 791671)
remember there only one way the right way


Homerepairguy 03-10-2012 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WillK (Post 791662)
At any rate, the toilet doesn't flush with the usual gurgle noise or whatever you call it. It can be made to do it with enough plunging, but the next time it's still slow.

Since you said that the toilet can flush properly "with enough plunging", there's probably a pen type object in the toilet's trap. You can verify this by:

1. Plunge until the toilet flushes properly. Let the tank fill completely and flush again to verify that it still flushes properly. Do this at least 3 or 4 times.

2. If step-1 continues to flush properly, then put in some toilet paper and flush. You may need to do this a few times. Does the toilet now drain slowly? If so, the toilet paper is hanging up on the pen like object.

If step-2 verifies that there is a pen like object in the trap, then you will probably have to de-install the toilet and turn it upside down to try to get the pen out. A flashlight and forceps can be helpful. I got a pen out of our toilet using a curved forceps. If this is not successful, try the following:

Tie a small piece of rag to the end of a strong cord. Try to get the cord through the toilet trap by pouring buckets of water through the trap either from the top, or from the bottom with the toilet upside down on two saw horses.

Once the cord is through the toilet, tie a larger piece of rag to the middle of the cord on the bottom side of the toilet. With the toilet upside down on two saw horses, use a sawing action with the cord to fish out what ever is in the trap from the bottom which is actually the top of the toilet since it's upside down.

BTW, when you have the toilet removed, test the drain by pouring buckets of water into it or with a garden hose to fill up the drain with water from any blockage to the top of the drain. If pouring buckets of water to simulate flushing flows freely, then your drain is OK.

HRG

WillK 03-12-2012 09:58 AM

This had cleared up within a day or two of the original post, I think it was probably something like a paper dixie cup wedged at the trap. If I recall correctly, the partial blockage plunged effectively once it had enough toilet paper to become a complete blockage.


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